After 12 months of releasing a brand new song and video on the first Friday of every month, today 1 September 2017, sees the official release of SHORTSTRAW’s THOSE MEDDLING KIDS COLLECTIVE as an album.
All the songs on the album were recorded at High Sea Studios by Jacques Du Plessis and Adrian Erasmus, described by the band as the 6th and 7th members of SHORTSTRAW. Musically, the collection as an album expresses the different types of music all the members are into; not being dictated by any sound or genre each month, the band wrote about whatever they were feeling at the time and what they thought sounded good.
“Lyrically there was definitely a theme, and that theme was basically 2016-2017! Each month, as we wrote the songs, I'd just be singing about what I was going through at the time. A struggling relationship, a break-up and the subsequent reforming of said relationship, along with the death of my first dog. It's actually a pretty personal album.” says Alastair Thomas.
Committing to releasing a new song and music video every month is all about sticking to timelines otherwise they would have lost all momentum, says SHORTSTRAW. While writing the songs each month, some came more easily than others. A few of them came from old ideas reimagined: Ignorance is Bliss was born out of an idea of Alastair that is almost 10 years old, whereas 'Our Simple Minds' and 'The Less We're Together', came about in less than an hour.
The best lesson learnt in this past 112-month journey was that of discipline; if you allow your songwriting muscle to work like any other muscle and put it in a position to write and keep at it, it will develop. They now know that they can write and record a song in a matter of days and it will still sound like a SHORTSTRAW song, regardless of what genre they decide to venture into. They describe the worst lesson as not being able to give each single the shine it deserved: “If it was a strong single, we had to move on to the next one after a month, and couldn’t give it all the marketing and PR attention it maybe deserved in order to be heard by more people at the time.”
With one of the biggest inspirations behind the collective being the showcasing of new talent, SHORTSTRAW made a bunch of new friends along the way which they are constantly pulling into their other creative work and endeavours, and referring them wherever possible.
Compared to their previous albums, 'THOSE MEDDLING KIDS' feel more free and bold; the songs are all vastly different and diverse and in some cases, they change tempos and even in the case of Rich Richards, are three different songs in one. The band cared less about what people may have expected, and were more content to do what they think is great and exciting. They tried something new on almost every song and played with time signatures, genres, production elements and collaborations. The result: 'THOSE MEDDLING KIDS', a music collective.
THOSE MEDDLING KIDS Track Listing:
- Ignorance Is Bliss
- Keep It In The Family
- Rich Richards
- If I’m The Tide
- Our Simple Minds
- The Less We’re Together
THOSE MEDDLING KIDS Album Launch | 1 SEPTEMBER 2017
It is with much excitement that SHORTSTRAW launches 'THOSE MEDDLING KIDS' as a complete collection on 1 September. The release will be celebrated with a special event at The Good Luck Bar in Johannesburg, where a special exhibition of all single's artworks will be on display and available for purchase. The night will also be a special honouring of all the album's collaborators. It has been tallied that a total of over 50 artists, filmmakers, actors and organisation partners from around the world were involved in the making of the album, and it has been an important mission of SHORTSTRAW to showcase and expose as many people as possible to the talented people involved and what amazing work they do!
After 10 years of performing locally and internationally, numerous Top 5 singles, awards, 4 full-length albums and countless shenanigans in between - come January 2018, SHORTSTRAW will be taking a break. Whereas life can demanding and all the members have full-time careers outside of the band, they decided to take a break to focus on rediscovering music and finding a new perspective. Fans need not worry - SHORTSTRAW describes the break as a holiday and will not be going anywhere for good - they will be back!